John Sorenson’s Book of Mormon Geography in Google Maps

Finally there is a way to really explore John Sorenson’s Book of Mormon geography. Made popular by his 1985 publication “An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon“, Sorenson’s geographic model for the Book of Mormon has withstood the test of time and remains the preeminent geographic model for Book of Mormon events. Unfortunately, exploring and testing his geographic model in an accessible way has proven difficult given the arrangement of data and maps in his books.

I have scoured Sorenson’s book for his geographic correlations and have mapped them in Google Earth and saved the map for public consumption. Click on the individual pins for information on the archaeological/modern geographical location that Sorenson ties it to, as well as the page number in his book where he justifies it. This is meant to be a faithful reproduction of John Sorenson’s geographic model, not necessarily an endorsement of it (though I do believe he has brought us close to the truth). One of the advantages to doing it in Google Maps, as opposed to Google Earth (which is easily done using the same .KML file) is that you can turn on the “terrain” base map, which is a powerful way of understanding the lay of the land.

Please enjoy, and leave comments about what you think of the map.

You can play with the map below, or follow this link for the full view (which is much easier to use): https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zeDP0Thvyobg.kjRO8wXEaazw

P.S. Sorenson’s map should not be explored without also considering Brant Gardner’s essay on Nephite directional systems.

P.S.S. if you’d like the .KML file for this map please let me know.

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15 comments on “John Sorenson’s Book of Mormon Geography in Google Maps

  1. Carl Pate says:

    Individuals considering Book of Mormon Geography models, particularly, the models proposed by Allen, Hauk, Norman & Sorenson, would do well to read the monograph, “The Mormon Geography Problem – Chapter and Verse”, located on the website MormonTopics.com. The monograph by Dr Robert A. Pate, PhD, uses “chapter and verse” from The Book of Mormon to discuss the accuracy of the aforementioned models. It articulates specific issues that need to be considered for an accurate solution.

    • James says:

      Hi Carl, am I right in assuming you are his brother, or some other family member?

    • Carl says:

      In response to James question- Yes, I am a relative of Robert Pate.
      I am sorry I did not see your response sooner. I checked, repeatedly after I posted my last comment, but I have not seen your response until today.

  2. Mark says:

    I am very interested in the subject of the location of happenings of the Book of Mormon. I have a few questions to consider. How can the narrow neck of land spoken of be this part of Central America? It says that a Nephite can cross it in a day. I do not think that it is possible to cover that part of Central America in a day?
    Central America is not the Promised Land. The boundaries of The United States of America is the Promised Land.
    The Book of Mormon talks about migrating beasts. I do not know of any migrations in that area of Central America where the climate/weather is virtually the same year round.

    ???

    • James says:

      Hi Mark.

      I agree that the narrow neck of land is one of the more challenging aspects of Sorenson’s geographic model, though in the big picture it still is by far the most likely candidate. Much has been written about it, and the other topics you have mentioned.

      What books, authors, websites, etc., have you consulted in your Book of Mormon geography studies? Are you a partial to any particular model?

  3. David says:

    Look to Florida as the Book of Mormon land

  4. JRSG says:

    The whole American continent is the promised land which is Canada, United States, Mexico, Central America and South America.

    I read Brant Gardner’s essay on directions. Does not make any sense at all.
    People who are trying to prove their theories of where the main events of the Book of Mormon took place are ignoring a lot of what the Book of Mormon says.

  5. dave burkey says:

    I have heard theories of the BOM, and I might agree with, The area of the BOM is in North America, near the great lakes area. Many evidences have been found in that area. Mounds of bones are found all over that area, There are old remnants of forts and strong holds that resemble the descriptionSmith found them in upstate New York, Not in South America. How would the plates have gotten ti NY from South America? I have some videos explaining it all. But the BOM said that they spread trough out the land, So who knows.

  6. dave burkey says:

    Sorry, I put a post earlier, but since I am on a laptop, my mouse pad somehow erased some of it, so here it is again.

    I have heard other theories of there the lands were in the BOM, and I might agree with them. The area of the BOM is in North America, near the great lakes area. Many evidences have been found in that area. Mounds of bones are found all over that area, due to the wars they had. Carbon dated to the BOM timeline. There are old remnants of forts and strong holds that resemble the description of ones in the BOM. There is a tribe of Native Americans that have the same DNA markers as the Jews, Not to be found anywhere else in North or South America. The Golden plates were buried in the hill Cumorah, Joseph Smith found them in upstate New York, Not in South America. How would the plates have gotten to NY from South America?
    I have some videos explaining it all. But the BOM said that the people spread trough out the land, So who knows.

  7. James says:

    Hi Dave. I personally favor a Mesoamerican model. From my look at the issue it best accounts for population levels, writing ability, social complexity, geographic considerations, etc. That isn’t to say that some Book of Mormon populations didn’t migrate northward into North America, but the stories told in the BoM are primarily centered in Mesoamerica. That’s my view, anyway.

  8. David K says:

    I leaned toward the mesoamerican model for many years until I came across the work of Del Dowdell and his blog at nephicode.com. He proposes a south american model (peru and ecuador) with hagoth’s ships north going to mesoamerica and accounting for the mayan ruins. His work is extremely well documented (in the books he has written) and extremely compelling. If you are interested, it’s worth your time to check out nephicode.com.

    • Dave B says:

      no one really knows exactly where it took place. Most is speculation. Remember, there was a time of expansion where people moved all over the land. too ships all over the place. we will probably never know until somwone from that time comes and tells us. (like Moroni) Actually, I am sure that Joseph Smith knew exactly where the land of Zarahemla was.

  9. Varden says:

    Excellent map! Love the layout to an actual real-world map.

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